The best way to address economic growth in Louisiana is to create jobs and maintain tax incentives for new and existing businesses, state Rep. Taylor Barras said.
Barras, of New Iberia, was re-elected to District 48 without opposition.
“From a budget perspective, we continue to focus on how to properly fund education, corrections and all the chunky parts of the budget,” Barras said. “All of that becomes a moot discussion, if we relax on job creation.”
Barras said the greatest need for his district is jobs.
“We need to continue to allow our Department of Economic Development to use tools at their disposal to create jobs,” he said. “I think our book of taxes is favorable to future business development.”
Freezes on unfilled state positions and salaries as well as passing on increased retirement costs are “small fixes” that have helped balance the budget, but a more critical review of the state’s expenses is necessary, Barras said.
Limiting the growth of government, privatization of functions and investments in technology to streamline operations should also be considered, he said.
Rather than across-the-board cuts, Barras suggested state departments evaluate their operations and eliminate ineffective programs.
“I think the budget crisis will force us to react to some of those inefficiencies,” Barras said.
Barras said he views investment in early education as a way to stunt the cycle of poverty.
“A program that had been met with great results was the Pre-K4 program,” Barras said. “It’s been a struggle to maintain that funding with the budget situation the way it is, but I don’t think anyone is arguing the value of the program.”
Barras said he would support increased funding for the program — if money was recovered in the budget.
Republican, New Iberia.
54, IberiaBank market president.
EDUCATION: B.S., LSU.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative.
WHERE TO VOTE
Ward/Precinct and location
1-4 New Iberia Senior High
2-3 Sugarland Elementary
2--4 Sugarland Elementary
3-1 Daspit Road Elementary
3-2 Daspit Road Elementary
3-3 Sugarland Elementary
3-5 Francis Romero Memorial Building
5-4 Iberia Middle
6-1 New Iberia Senior High
6-3 North Lewis Street Elementary
6-4 North Lewis Street Elementary
6-5 BOM Volunteer Fire Station
7-1 Community Center - City Park
7-2 Dodson Street Elementary
7-3 New Iberia Senior Citizen Center
7-4 North Lewis Street Elementary
7-5 Daspit Road Elementary
8-1 North Lewis Street Elementary
8-2 Daspit Road Elementary
8-3 Belle Place Middle
8-4 Morbihan Recreation Center
9-3 Harold Landry Memorial Building
9-4 Belle Place Middle
9-5 Loreauville Town Hall
10-2 Iberia Middle
11-8 Morbihan Recreation Center
14-1 Coteau Elementary
14-3 Francis Romero Memorial Building
101 Broussard Middle
102 Youngsville Middle
103 Youngsville Middle
110 Broussard Middle
St. Martin Parish
2-2 New Cade Fire Station